Republican former State Rep. John Lujan and Democrat Frank Ramirez finished first and second in Tuesday’s five-way special election to represent Texas House District 118, putting them in a runoff to replace former State Rep. Leo Pacheco (D–San Antonio) for the remainder of his term.

Pacheco resigned last month to take a teaching job at San Antonio College.

Three Democrats and two Republicans competed in the race to fill Pacheco’s vacated seat in the district, which includes part of San Antonio and areas south and east of the city in Bexar County.

Lujan finished with nearly 42 percent of the vote, and Ramirez received 20 percent.

The election was a jungle primary in which candidates from all parties competed. Since no candidate received over 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates advance to a runoff.

Voter turnout was just under 7 percent.

Lujan won a special election in January 2016 in the reliably Democrat district. The business owner and retired San Antonio firefighter then lost two successive general elections for the seat to Democrats: now-former State Rep. Tomas Uresti (San Antonio) in 2016 and Pacheco in 2018. But Lujan said House Speaker Dade Phelan encouraged him to run again in the special election.

Ramirez, who is just 27 years old, recently served as San Antonio’s city zoning and planning director. Before that, he worked as Uresti’s legislative aide and chief of staff in the Texas House. Pacheco endorsed Ramirez.

The governor will set a date for the runoff election. The runoff winner will serve out Pacheco’s remaining term, which runs through January 2023.

Complete election results are on the Bexar County Elections website. Information about the runoff will be posted there as it becomes available.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.


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